Luke Simon

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since Nov 07, 2018
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books forest garden
Grower of over 30 medicinal herbs for the homeopathic company King Bio. Comfrey fanatic interested in growing every species and hybrid from the genus Symphytum. I grow a lot of other stuff in conjunction with my parent's farm, Simon Organics. Functional ag systems designer. Author of PASSIVE Gardening: Permanent Agriculture Systems Sustaining Intensive Vegetable Ecology, Mastering the Growing Edge: Plants as Tools for Garden Creation, and the soon to be released Intrinsic: An Agriculture of Altered Chaos.
Northeast Ohio
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Recent posts by Luke Simon

Bryant RedHawk wrote:hau Luke, I don't believe the results were published since I was an undergraduate.
I do keep all my work note books though (my wife doesn't understand why I insist on keeping them, so I am putting them all onto memory sticks now).



Thank you for sharing that info here then. It's good stuff. I will link to this thread for reference and share it with others.Although if you have more info such as pictures, I would love to post about your study on my website.

Those are insane roots Tom. I have juniper plants, and now wonder how deep they go.
3 months ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:

Luke Simon wrote:Fascinating about the strangler fig. Curious though what kind of soil those 8 ft roots were in. Was it sand?



I measured those root depths in 1969 at my house in Sacramento Ca., the top soil was 100 feet deep, the house was located in an alluvial flood zone of the American River, soil type: Sandy, silty top soil.
I planted comfrey, alfalfa, daikon radish and buckwheat in a space 7' x 25', a transparent barrier of military grade Plexiglas was installed for observation during the experiment.
Results recorded: the comfrey roots went down 8 feet in two years (3.756' the first year), the alfalfa roots went down 7 feet in one year, the daikon radish grew to 3.17 feet in length in one growing season, the buckwheat roots only went down 3.55 feet (it's a shallower rooting plant apparently).
This soil had 29 thousand bacteria per cu. cm, 50 thousand mycelium per cu. cm, 22,419 nematodes per cu. inch and 14,226 amoeba and flagellates per cu. inch.
The soil was checked for these with a Zeiss Dark Field Microscope with a maximum power of 2500X, at the end of the trial this same microscope was fitted with abbe condenser, phase contrast and a polarization filter, gram stain was used for bacterial counts.
This was part of some of my studies done at the University of California, Davis (go Bruins).

Redhawk



Dang! Where was this study published? Or was it published at all? I’d love to spread the link around because this is fantastic, high quality research. Thanks so much for going to such lengths to gather that information Dr. Redhawk.

Interesting that comfrey can grow deeper in softer soil where it isn’t impeded by slate as was the case for my excavation. Thanks so much for enlightening me.
3 months ago
I'm partial to mine: https://mortaltree.blog

But my favorite that first inspired me to start blogging (which I still adore) is Alan Carter's Of Plums and Pignuts: https://scottishforestgarden.wordpress.com

He's way into the rare perennial veg and Andean root crops. He touches on fertility, and methods of forest gardening. He's an excellent writer, and has killer aesthetic. Images on his site are to die for.
3 months ago
The video has been really hard for this campaign. My last campaign I spent hundreds on the video. A lot of that was high qualith sound bits which I still have for this campaign.

At first I wanted to use an interview. More complicated than I thought, and the outdoor filming was really not cooperating. Changed site, changed script, to what I thought a windless area, and really short, funny script. The sound came out awful. I spent a lot of time trying fix it in Adobe for not a lot of improvement.

The written campaign is really good, with lots of images. Also, I have a video of the opening chapter now, and the chapter previews. I decided the video is really detracting from the good stuff. Ditch the video.

I have to say I like the campaign better this way. I think it helps people look at the details of the campaign image and the rewards, and the writing. I am a writer and photographer more than a cinematographer. A campaign without a video is the kind of campaign that shows my, and my project's strengths.

3 months ago
I decided to release the first chapter of Intrinsic. I have a print format, and digital format preview since the two will be fairly different. To make the most of the preview release, I printed out the first chapter and made a video of myself explaining this 'manuscript.' You can view it, and find the chapter previews here:

https://wp.me/p3sVns-2A4 .

Note that I pay for Wordpress to host videos for me, but, when I tried to post the video on Kickstarter referencing the Wordpress URL where the video is stored, Kickstarter couldn't make the connection. Apparently Wordpress hosts videos for Wordpress, and those are in a special format for Wordpress. I just linked on Kickstarter to the post where the video is live.

I think this video was a good move because how many people are likely to actually review the whole chapter? The video has a much more grand, easily accessed impact. Also, all the killer infographics and images (mostly infographics) I have in this book make it very visually appealing.

Advertising is a little more complicated than I'll expalin here. I have a full page ad in Permacukture Magazine and half page ad in Acres. Much more besides. I will mention that I bought 2,000,000 tiny ads (1m in tinies, 1m in email), pie, thumbs up, to boost this thread less than a week ago, and this thread already has about 350 views. My click rate on the tiny ads is about 5%. Thanks Paul! I still need something a little more direct, like a Facebook release, because almost none of the thread viewers are going the extra mile to the Kickstarter page. I think just getting the info out is half the advertising process, so feel like the $104 I spent in thread boost is way worth it.

Thanks to all the viewers of this thread. I hope you're getting your own ideas for kickstarters from my experience.
4 months ago
The project has over $500 in funding! Thanks to everyone blowing up the stats over there!
4 months ago
Intrinsic is a completely new, drastically streamlined approach to "growing." It's about how your ecology can grow things for you -the growth becomes "intrinsic."

Any suggestions or reviews of the kickstarter are entirely welcome. I made a lot of funding tier so you can find the one just right for you (I hope, of not let me know.

If I learned anything from my last project, advertising is everything. Other thing is that it helps to add humor to your campaign.

I find lately that asking people to share their pledge notification with friends is one of the best advertisments out there. If you pledge, don't let that little notification go to waste. Share it!

The humor of this project's video really comes out at the end:

http://kck.st/2zMqQ6F

It's live now through December 16th. I can't wait to send out copies ASAP!

Don't have more than a minute? Here's the table of contents.

Intrinsic Overview/ Table of Contents

Chapters:

The Syntax of Chaos (Will be available for preview very soon)

Quote from chapter: “Chaos doesn't have to be destructive, does it? Chaos is just something that happens on a large scale we can't control. Cut these events down to size, and they're just things that happen we don't have to make happen. They are nature's intrinsic force.”

A Point in Time

“While the specifics of your system’s timing must be learned from the system, there are several broad topics of timing this chapter will cover. For now, it’s important to know you can benefit from mapping events in time, both forward and backwards, to synchronize events. This is how you build a better system in the present.”

The Intrinsic Origins of Plants

“Plants in a similar way condense from the air. Like ice in a glass, solid air, which you'll soon find makes up almost all fertilizers, is like a lure that pulls air into the soil. Once this lure is in the soil, air drips from the soil as plants.”

Nitrogen: The Quality of Life

“Almost no ecology on Earth has a large enough intrinsic nitrogen cycle to grow garden vegetables. The genetics that demand these unnatural conditions are the fruit of extrinsic, synthesized ecologies. We made them.”

Space is a Problem for Extrinsic (The Rules of Spacing)

“The rules of spacing dictate the effects one plant—or mountain range—will have on the surrounding area. These effects work their way from air to earth creating macro effects of weather down to what species of plants, bacteria, or the like can or cannot grow. Certain gears in our wheelhouse just don't mesh with each other depending on the biome they come from. To learn these rules means you can influence the local environment, even on a small scale from plant to plant, to form a unique biome.”

Covering Ground

“Exclusion is a very valuable resource. Imagine $56 billion dollars worth of herbicides insecticides, fungicides and the like, and you start to feel the size of this resource called exclusion.“

Coding your Results with Genetics

“Highly pliable genetics are the best example of chaos level 3. They can move from place to place in the system but still yield all the abundance you designed. When this occurs, the plants have essentially taken your design and started to recreate it themselves. The entirety of your design has been absorbed into and altered the intrinsic character of natural chaos.”

Intrinsic Program Trials

“An important part of Intrinsic is bridging the gap between knowledge of nature and farming systems, to making these systems function. This is where the levels of chaos, and chaos ratio are most important: They are not for nature, they are for you. They define where you work, and where nature works. They break down the design process into stair steps small enough and concise enough you can ascend and descend without tripping.”
4 months ago

Bryant RedHawk wrote:Comfrey can sink roots to around 8 feet.

Strangler fig tree roots are responsible for most of the destruction of 2500 year old temples in Thailand, Cambodia and India.
This same tree has been used to make root bridges for several thousand years too and some of the bridges span over 100 feet.

Oak tree roots can split granite, one of the hardest rocks found on the earth mother.



Fascinating about the strangler fig. Curious though what kind of soil those 8 ft roots were in. Was it sand?
4 months ago

Mart Hale wrote:https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0961584831/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1


This book really changed my mind about gardening.     Besides looking above the soil, beneath is a whole new world.



Totally agree. I have read that book. It was actually that book that prompted me to excavate comfrey. Kourik had very few examples I thought -not speaking badly of him, but as he said, not many examples around. Thanks for bringing it up!
4 months ago
Curious how deep comfrey actually grows, so arranged for an excavator, and sacrificed a patch of circa 1980 AD comfrey.

The depest roots made it about 2 ft down. Coincidentally in this soil, 2 ft down was a hard line of orange sandstone. I was surprised to find the roots of the comfrey pried several inches into this mass I could barely break apart with my garden knife. I question now how deep they would grow in better soil?

Considering an experiment in which I fill a 50 gallon barrel with compost, and see if the comfrey grows to the bottom. I have no problems if someone beats me to it.

4 months ago